Day by Day

Monday, March 29, 2004

Greedy Washington Politics

So, Washington State politicians, not content with trashing this state's business economy, now want to push to make it harder for internet businesses based in other states to do business with Washington State citizens. How do I know? Well folks, let me introduce you to something called the Jenkin's Act. It requires companies that engage in interstate cigarette sales to provide information on their customers to state tax administrators.

How do I know about this? Well, I heard about it on the morning radio, and did a little search. Guess what I came up with?

Up to 40,000 Washington residents should soon be receiving letters from the state asking them to pay back taxes on millions of dollars worth of cigarettes they bought through a Web site.

A settlement of a lawsuit filed by Washington state against online cigarette seller www.Dirtcheapcig. com Inc. of Missouri paved the way for the letters, which will be sent by the state Department of Revenue.

The settlement, signed Dec. 1 by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnick in Tacoma, was little-noticed outside legal circles. But it's drawn quite a bit of attention from other cash-strapped states, which see it as helping to clear the way for them to start collecting more than $1 billion annually in taxes from Internet cigarette sales.

Get it? It doesn't matter where the company is based, or where you buy your smokes from, you're going to get taxed! Hmmmmm, do you think this might pave the way for states to start taxing OTHER internet commerce? Why yes, I think so! Why would they start with cigarettes? Because it's one of the easiest groups to shit on, as proven by the myriad anti-smoking legislation, sin-taxes, and outright dismissal of smoker's rights. But, once the smokers get shit on, you've set a legal precedent to shit on everyone else. If they can tax cigarette sales online, why shouldn't they tax clothing sales online? How about book sales online? I used to buy all my leather supplies online, and they would be able to tax that as well! What's stopping them? They've already got a green light to tax online sales, now they're just looking for targets that won't make people scream at first!

The settlement approved by Lasnick required to provide information on its sales to customers in Washington dating back to Jan. 1, 2001, and on future sales to state residents. And it reinforced the rights of the states to pursue civil lawsuits against Web sites that violate the Jenkins Act.

So far, has supplied Washington state with the names and addresses of between 35,000 and 40,000 residents who bought cigarettes over the past three years, as well as details on how many packs and what brands were purchased.

State officials estimate the outstanding taxes at about $4 million.

I'm forced to buy my cigars online. The main reason for that is that the Washington State tobacco tax has killed all but two real cigar shops in my area. They've more than doubled the price of cigars. I just spent $35.00 on a box of cigars (see my last post!), and it would have cost me $87.50 if I had bought it in Washington. Think about that. There is a 150% tax on all tobacco products in Washington State. Is it any wonder that people are trying to find cheaper smokes? But now the communist bastards in Olympia are going to find those people and give them the financial equivalent of anal rape with a sandpaper condom. And if you think that they're going to stop with just cigarettes, you need to share whatever you've been smoking.

Just don't buy in online. Or you'll pay.

It's long past time to starve the beast of government. It's time to tell those worthless parasites that they already have enough of our money. I think I'll be writing some pretty nasty letters as soon as I can. They need to get their fingers out of our pockets, and they need to stop now. Don't let these money grubbing pukes start taxing internet sales, or you will never see the end of it.

Cigarettes are just the beginning, folks. Count on it.

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